• Experience Uyghur, Tajik, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian, Pakistani and Chinese cultures
• Walk through the Silk Road cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva
• Journey along the Karakoram Highway and over the Khunjerab and Torugart Passes
• Traverse the Himalayas, Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges
• See the stunning Hunza Valley
• Visit the the ancient market of Kashgar
• 24 land days
• Maximum 16 travelers
• Start in Islamabad and finish in Tashkent
• All meals included
• Includes 2 internal flights
• Activity Level: 2
Kashgar, Samarkand and Khiva - ancient Silk Road cities that evoke images of exotic caravans traveling across deserts and over mountains, linking the worlds of east and west. For over 1,000 years, it was the legendary Silk Road that provided adventurers and traders with a route from the mystique and wealth of China to the developing countries of Europe. ElderTreks' Silk Road journey explores the old trading routes of northern Pakistan, northwestern China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
We spend our first week in the mountains and colorful cities of northern Pakistan, including the beautiful Hunza Valley. Explore the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush, the Pamir and the Karakoram mountain ranges. Drive along the Karakoram Highway over the world's highest paved border crossing - the Khunjerab Pass - into China. In Kashgar, visit the ancient market, where 100,000 Uyghurs gather to sell and trade. Crossing the mountainous beauty of Kyrgyzstan, we arrive in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, our transfer point to the historic city of Khiva - an open-air museum of central Asian architecture.
In Bukhara and Samarkand, two of the best preserved Silk Road wonders, we see mosques, tombs and monuments that provide a majestic ending to this Silk Road journey. The words of Alexander the Great, spoken more than 2,000 years ago, still ring true: "Everything I have heard about the beauty of Samarkand is true - except that it is even more beautiful than I could have imagined."
Please note: The Karakoram Highway is a true engineering marvel. With some of the highest mountains in the world and the remote rugged terrain, the scenery is some of the most spectacular on our planet. The many who have joined us over the years have been surprised that Pakistan, including the long drives along the Karakoram Highway to the Hunza valley, was their favorite and most memorable part of this unforgettable adventure.
That being said, due to the natural logistics of this remote highway, construction or road maintenance is likely on some stretches which may cause delays.
For those who join this true adventure, the few potential inconveniences associated with this remote location are far surpassed by the wonders that the area has to offer. It can easily be one of the travel highlights of their lives.
Comfortable accommodations with private bathrooms. Basic accommodation in Besham & Skardu Pakistan and Naryn, Kyrgyzstan.
7 days over 10,000 ft (3048 m) including a drive close to 17,000 ft (5,182 m) on the Khunjerab pass. Rough roads and some very long drives.
Arrive in Islamabad, Pakistan
To Besham; The Karakoram Highway
Scenic drive to Gilgit; First Century Petroglyphs
To Shigar; Gateway to the World's Highest Mountain Ranges
To Skardu a.k.a. Little Tibet
To Hunza Valley a.k.a Shangri-La
Hunza Valley, Eagle's Nest
Hunza, Baltit Fort, to Gulmit
Khunjerab Pass - Highest International Border Crossing in the World
To Kashgar via Karakul Lake & 2 Pamir Mountain Giants
Kashgar - Id Kah Mosque & Sites
Ancient Kashgar Market
Drive to Naryn, Kyrgyzstan
Stunning scenery of Lake Issyk-Kul
To Bishkek via Alatoo Mountains
Fly to Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Fly to Urgench, Walled City of Khiva
Drive to Bukhara via the Kyzylkum Desert
Ancient Monuments of Bukhara
Samarkand - Registan Square